National Public Health Week: Join the Movement!

Mar 30, 2012, 6:55 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

National Public Health Week begins on Monday, April 2, with events across the country underscoring this year’s theme: "A Healthier America Begins Today. Join the Movement!" The American Public Health Association (APHA) chose the theme to coincide with the recent release of the National Prevention Strategy.

National Public Health Week is important, according to the APHA, because every year, chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes are responsible for millions of premature deaths. Americans miss 2.5 billion days of work because of these illnesses, and all of that lost productivity adds up to more than $1 trillion. In addition, unintentional injuries such as motor vehicle crashes, poisonings and burns rank among the top ten causes of death for people age 44 and younger. Catching and preventing these illnesses and incidents before they develop is the key to improving our nation’s health, say Georges Benjamin, MD, executive director of the APHA.

Events across the United States will highlight steps Americans can take toward healthier lives. See some examples below and find events in your state.

  • A walk with Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA, and APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, in Aurora, Colo.
  • Health screenings and exercise classes (Zumba!) at the Yale School of Public Health

Follow the Public Health Week conversation on Twitter and join a live chat on Monday.

>>Bonus Reading: Read a post from the Pump Handle blog on National Public Health Week activities.

Weigh In: What are you doing to celebrate National Public Health Week?

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.